Sunday, March 16, 2008

British schools pander to Muslim thuggery

Schools in areas feared to have high rates of forced marriage are refusing to display posters on the issue because they are too hard-hitting, according to a government report. Headteachers are unwilling to put up the posters for fear that they might offend some parents. The disclosure came in findings from the Department for Children, Schools and Families showing that 2,089 pupils were absent from school without explanation in 14 areas of England believed to have a high incidence of forced marriage.

A paper from the department released by the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee found that in Luton cards had been issued rather than posters while in Derby most schools were unaware of the poster produced by the forced marriage unit. “In Birmingham, the poster had not been displayed as schools felt that the graphics are ‘too hard-hitting’. “Some schools in Leeds are displaying the posters but others are concerned that they may offend some of their parents,” the paper said.

The areas highlighted by the forced marriage unit as having a “high incidence” of forced marriage are Derby, Leicester, Luton, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford and Lancashire. The report found that 2,089 children were “not in receipt of suitable education” including 250 in Birmingham, 155 in Bristol, 121 in Derby, 520 in Leeds, 294 in Leicester, 385 in Manchester and 66 in Luton.

But it is not clear how many of these children might have been taken out of school and forced into marriage. Some are being educated at home, some families have moved without leaving a forwarding address and other children are truants. MPs on the committee are now to seek extra information.

Margaret Moran described schools’ resistance to displaying the posters as shocking. She said: “People just don’t want to talk about it. “This can involve violence, rape, kidnap — what more important issue can there be? The cultural thing is just a big smokescreen.”

Martin Salter, another Labour member of the committee, said that the problem was “much bigger than people realise. There has been a culture of silence for far too long. There are far too many local authorities being lily-livered about addressing this issue.”

The department said that it was up to schools to decide what posters to display depending on circumstances but urged them to make such material available. “Posters are just one mechanism to get the message across.”


Buffoonery in "The Guardian"

Writing about David Mamet's rejection of "brain-dead liberalism" in the Guardian (commented on yesterday in Media Blog), columnist Michael Billington offers this groaner on Glenngary Glen Ross:

Given his new-found conservatism, I doubt he could ever write a play riddled with such moral ambiguity

For the brain-dead leftist, it is carved in stone that conservatives are immune to moral ambiguity. This is pure jackassery. Is there anybody walking the Earth who is more morally assured of himself than Al Gore? Anybody who suffers from more moral certitude than Mr. Gore's slavish followers, who insist that their program-and that alone-is the necessary condition of human survival? Anybody remember progressive hero Peter Gabriel singing "I get so tired, working so hard for our survival?" Name Hillary Clinton ring a bell? Ever walked across a U.S. college campus? Read the Guardian? Checked out the latest cover of Rolling Stone?

There's no irony on that cover or in the article. Only hagiography.

In my experience, every red-diaper baby socialist patchouli sponge worth his organic tofu dreadlocks acts, talks, and thinks as though he is in a battle against Absolute Evil. Not the least of these is Mr. Billington himself, who begins his column: "I am depressed to read that David Mamet has swung to the right" and ends it with a lament that Mamet's political beliefs are apt to corrupt his literary talent. Which is to say that he is bothered by the fact that a man he does not know does not share his political beliefs, and he regards beliefs contrary to his own as so corrosive that they will untalent a talented writer. He suffers from no moral ambiguity in his assessment of Mamet's politics.

Conservatism assumes that the world is necessarily imperfect, that our institutions are imperfect, and that mankind is inescapably morally compromised. These brain-dead leftists have, apparently, never heard of T.S. Eliot, Russell Kirk, Evelyn Waugh, Burke, Tom Wolfe, Disraeli, or V.S. Naipaul, no doubt having immersed themselves in the finely shaded realism of Marx and Foucault.

Anybody who ever had a single serious thought about U.S. foreign policy under Reagan or George W. Bush ought to appreciate that conservatives are intimately familiar with moral ambiguity. I know, it's the Guardian, and I shouldn't take it seriously. But conservatives shouldn't allow cartoon versions of our ideas to displace our actual ideas.

Source. See Ace for more.

NHS misdiagnoses woman for 23 years

A woman who was called lazy because she fainted during exercise is recovering after an operation to repair a hole in her heart that was described by cardiologists as one of the biggest they had seen. Despite Louise Banks’s suspicions that she might be suffering from a heart problem – which appeared to worsen dramatically when she tried to exercise – doctors repeatedly misdiagnosed her condition throughout her teenage years. Ms Banks, now 23, even resorted to joining a gym to prove that she was not lazy, as her school PE teacher claimed. While running on the treadmill she discovered that her heart rate went down instead of up.

However, it was only this January, seven years later, that her condition was finally identified after a new GP recorded an irregular heartbeat during a 24-hour monitoring test. The scan revealed a tear 4cm (1½in) long in the partition between the right and left side of her heart that enlarged when more blood was being pumped through. The result was lack of oxygen in the blood reaching her brain, causing her to faint. The condition could have killed her at any time in the previous 23 years.

Heart surgeons at Southampton General Hospital have now repaired the gap. She has been left with no lasting effects apart from a 25cm scar on her chest and a temporarily enlarged right side of the heart. Ms Banks is now back at her home in Exeter, Devon, with her partner Matthew Folland, 30, and their son Ben, 4, and is looking forward to catching up on all the things that she could not enjoy as a teenager, including sports and dancing. She said: “I always knew there was something wrong because I could feel my heart start and stop like a baby wriggling in my chest. I’m looking forward to my new life. It will be great to be able to dance with my friends without collapsing.”

At the age of 8 she was described as a “fainty child” after passing out at school. When it happened again she was told that she was epileptic. At 14 she complained of having palpitations up to 70 times a day. At 16, fed up with the taunts, she joined a gym. Her condition was once again misdiagnosed when she complained that her heart rate was falling instead of rising as she tried to work up a sweat. When she was 19 she almost died in childbirth when her heart started fluttering.

An ultrasound test revealed an atrial septal defect, or hole in the heart, between the two main chambers, or atria. Cathy Ross, a senior cardiac nurse with the British Heart Foundation, said that a hole in the heart just 9mm long was considered large and Ms Banks’s was more than four times that size. Mrs Ross said: “She is incredibly lucky. I’ve never heard of anyone having a hole in their heart that large.”

Ms Banks does not harbour any grudges against the doctors who misdiagnosed her condition. She said: “I don’t feel angry with the doctors for missing it. I would rather have been operated on now than 23 years ago when science wasn’t so advanced.”


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